World Matchplay Darts – Semi-Final Preview
The semi-finals of the World Matchplay take place this evening and with four of the top PDC players in action we have two very intriguing semi-final matches to look forward to.
Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen will both start as favourites in their matches and rightly so you would say, but James Wade and Peter Wright are both more than capable of pushing them hard and punishing any mistakes. Hopefully we will see some close matches and some high quality action from all four players.
Here is my stats preview and some interesting facts on each player also.
• Taylor has only lost 6 matches from 69 previous PDC TV major ranking tournament semi-finals, the last one being in 2010 World Grand Prix where he lost to Adrian Lewis. Two have been at the World Matchplay (2007 to Terry Jenkins and 1999 to Peter Manley).
• Taylor has played Wade eight times over a long course (best of 25 legs of more) and has won on every occasion.
• This will be their fifth meeting at the World Matchplay, four have been in the final and the most recent in 2013 was a semi-final which Taylor won 17-12.
• Wade has only lost twice in the World Matchplay semi-finals from seven matches, these being in 2013 to Taylor and 2010 to Raymond van Barneveld.
• Their last meeting in a TV major ranking tournament was won by James Wade when he defeated Taylor 3-1 in sets at the 2014 World Grand Prix on his way to the final.
• It is 25 major TV ranking tournaments since Wade won his last one, this was at the 2011 UK Open; he has lost 5 semi-finals since then and 3 finals.
Michael van Gerwen
• Michael van Gerwen is in his third successive World Matchplay semi-final having lost to Adrian Lewis in 2013 and beaten Simon Whitlock in 2014.
• MVG is already the current holder of 3 major TV ranking titles, having won the World Grand Prix, European Championship and UK Open since last year’s World Matchplay.
• This will be their fifth meeting in PDC major TV tournaments with van Gerwen having won all five of the previous encounters (3 times at the World Championship, 1 at the World Matchplay and 1 at the UK Open).
• This is Wright’s fourth time in a major TV ranking tournament semi-final, he has won two of the previous three semi-finals, beating Whitlock in the 2014 World Championships and Stephen Bunting in the 2015 UK Open. His defeat was a 10-5 loss to Phil Taylor at the 2013 UK Open.
• Wright’s only win against van Gerwen on a TV stage came in their last meeting when Wright beat van Gerwen 8-7 in the semi-final of the Japan Darts Masters at the end of June.
• Wright has three 10 dart legs in the tournament this year, no other player has had a leg under 11 darts so far.